High pesticide exposure in pregnant women found to cause birth defects and low birth weight

(Natural News) High pesticide exposure may negatively affect birth outcomes in pregnant women, a study published in Nature Communications showed.

Previous research on the link between pesticide exposure and birth defects showed ambiguous results. To address this, a team of researchers at the University of California – Santa Barbara examined birth outcomes in San Joaquin Valley. The region currently produces one-third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts, suggesting a heavy pesticide use in the area.

The research team then examined individual birth certificate records of more than 500,000 single births between 1997 and 2011. Data on pesticide use were also assessed to determine how the toxic chemicals affected birth outcomes.

The results showed that mothers with extremely high pesticide exposure levels — which equated to being exposed to about 4,200 kilograms of pesticides applied in one-square-mile regions — suffered a plethora of birth defects such as low birth weight, shorter gestational length, pre-term birth, and other birth abnormalities.


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